Lead Poisoning and Prevention


Protect Your Family From Lead

Lead is a poison. It can be in many places inside and outside your home. People who are exposed to lead over time can get very sick and even die.

Lead is very bad for the health and growth of children. Lead poisoning happens when lead is swallowed or breathed in. Babies and young children are most at risk for lead poisoning. It harms the brain, slows growth, and causes hearing and speech problems. Lead poisoning makes it hard for children to learn and behave.

Most children who have lead poisoning do not look or act sick. They may have stomach problems and not feel like eating or have headaches and may be cranky. The only way to know for sure if your child has lead poisoning is to have the doctor test for lead in your child's blood

What is Lead?

Lead is a soft metal that is added to many things like gasoline, paint, pottery dishware, and makeup to name a few. Lead is not used in these products in the United States anymore, but it can still be found all around us. Lead was used to make pipes that carry water into our homes and these pipes are still found in older homes. Lead pipes are a common source for lead poisoning. Lead dust is also in dirt around older homes that were painted with lead paint. Toys, jewelry, and even candy from other countries can have lead in them.

Lead Poisoning Prevention

While the facts about lead poisoning are scary, the good news is you can prevent lead poisoning. To learn more about how to prevent lead poisoning, where lead can be found and more, click here.

What is Blood Lead Screening?

Blood Lead Screening helps find out if young children have lead in their blood. No amount of lead is safe for children. Lead can make it hard for children to learn, pay attention and behave.

When should I have my child screened?

      • At 0-6 months
      • At 12 months and 24 months
      • Before 6 years, if not already screened
      • If they are new to Medi-Cal with no record of screening 

The first thing you need to know is if you have lead in or around your home. The links below will help you find out if you have sources of lead inside or outside your home and what you can do to protect your children.

If there is a chance that you do have lead in or around your home, the links below will help you learn what you can do to protect your children.